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Meningitis petition sparks MPs' debate over vaccination

Faye Burdett Image copyright Just Giving / Charlene Reed
Image caption Faye Burdett was taken to A&E with a rash on her forehead but died days later

MPs are to debate calls to give the meningitis B vaccine to all children after the number of signatories to a petition rose to more than 770,000.

The petition was boosted following a campaign by the family of two-year-old Faye Burdett, from Maidstone, who died on Valentine's Day.

It was started by Lee Booth, 44, from Gateshead, after one of his daughters was deemed too old for the vaccine.

The petitions committee has yet to schedule a date for the debate.

Most signed

It said it would like the House of Commons to have the chance to hear from some of the families who have been affected by meningitis B, as well as from relevant medical experts, first.

The petition, which is now the most-signed online petition in parliamentary history, calls for the vaccination of all children up to at least the age of 11.

A vaccine to protect against meningitis B is available on the NHS for babies aged two months, followed by a second dose at four months and a booster at 12 months.

Parents who wish to have older children vaccinated must pay privately, but there is a worldwide shortage of the vaccine and stocks are low.

Faye Burdett died after an 11-day battle with the infection. Her parents, Jenny and Neil, shared a picture of her covered in a rash and lying in a hospital bed to raise awareness of the disease.

Image copyright Meningitis Now
Image caption Faye's parents published the picture of their daughter just before her death

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